Democrats swap barbs
Democrats Victoria Wulsin and Steve Black, vying for nomination in the 2nd Congressional District, met in Oakley Tuesday at a debate sponsored by the Hamilton County Democratic Forum and spent almost as much time slapping at one another as talking about issues.
The audience of about 300 listened politely as Wulsin and Black took turns agreeing on issues such as unions, the death penalty and immigration, and the failings of incumbent Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt. But when the candidates took shots at one another, cheers and boos rang through the auditorium of the historic 20th Century building.
Each accused the other of smear tactics; each questioned the other's character. Onlookers, who appeared to be evenly divided into Black and Wulsin camps, ate it up.
Black kept digging at his claim that Wulsin could have been guilty of an ethical lapse when she worked for the Heimlich Institute three years ago. An Ohio Medical Board investigation, opened at the request of an anti-Heimlich gadfly, has not been closed. (Whether it is actively being pursued or has been set aside is a question the board will not answer.) Wulsin heatedly denied there was anything wrong with her work for Heimlich.
Wulsin trotted out a charge of hypocrisy against Black, claiming he owns stock in Halliburton and the oil industry, even though he has denounced both in campaign materials. Black shot back that the manager of his IRA bought Halliburton stock, and that Black ordered him to sell it at a loss. The oil company stocks, Black said, are held in a family trust. "I can't do anything about that," he said.
Wulsin unleashed one bit of "gotcha" news late in the program, when she announced that she had received the endorsement of Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory.